Government Relations Alert

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The House appropriations committee released information about the FY 2019 Labor-HHS-Education funding bill to be "marked up." The markup took place yesterday morning at 9:30 a.m. The markup session was webcast. You can view the session (which beings around 13:25 on the replay video).

FY 2019 Appropriations

The bill increases funding for the Department of Education very slightly (by 0.1%), or $43 million over the FY 2018 level. The bill text does not include program funding levels, so it will be awhile before we know many details. We do know that the category Career, Technical, and Adult Education is funded at $1.945 billion, an increase of $115 million over FY 2018, but we don't know how the money is allocated between adult education and CTE. The bill does specify that spending on AEFLA National Activities be frozen at $13.7 million.

Remember that the President's budget recommended that the two programs be funded at $1.6 billion and proposed to reduce adult education funding by $92 million, or about 16 percent. It is clear that the committee has rejected the President's proposed cut.

According to the Committee for Education Funding, the following programs were among those that received increases:

  • TRIO programs - total of $1.1 billion, up $50 million (5.0%). The President's budget provides $950 million.
  • GEAR UP - total of $360 million, up $10 million. The President's budget eliminates GEAR UP.
  • Head Start (in HHS) - total of $9.9 billion, up $50 million (0.5%). The President's budget provides $9.3 billion.

The CEF also reports that the House bill freezes these programs at the FY 2018 level:

  • Title I grants - all Title I programs are at a total of $16.4 billion.
  • All school improvement programs except for Title IV-A,which includes 21st century community learning centers and rural education. 
  • Promise Neighborhoods - at $78 million.
  • Full-service community schools - at $18 million.
  • Indian education - at $180 million.
  • English language acquisition - at $737 million.

It appears that tomorrow's mark up may be quite perfunctory, with amendments being deferred until the bill reaches the full committee.

The Senate will consider its Labor-HHS bill the last week of the month.

Other Legislation

In addition, the Senate HELP Committee is scheduled to mark up its version of the Career and Technical Education reauthorization on Wednesday, June 20, at 10:30 a.m. To date, there is no bi-partisan agreement on the bill. The House passed its reauthorization bill last summer. We have previously reported that Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray disagree on how much authority the Secretary of Education should have. In the past, both have indicated their desire for a bipartisan bill, but Alexander has been clear that he will move ahead with his own bill if there is no agreement.

Senators Reed and Baldwin will introduce the ''Career and Technical Education for Adult Learners Act" early next week. That bill makes explicit the connection between CTE and adult education. You can find more information about the bill at the Educate & Elevate website. If you are able, call or write your Senators to ask that they support the bill.

The Senate HELP Committee is also supposed to consider the nomination of Scott Stump to be the Department of Education's Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.